Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder’s Slump Continues In Overtime Loss To Toronto

Craig Hofeld

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In desperate need of a win, the Thunder took on the Raptors on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City. With a fired up crowd thanks to “Nick Collison Night”, the Raptors looked to come out and silence the fans. Toronto was able to do just that and spoil Nick Collison’s jersey retirement in OKC.

RAPID RECAP

The Thunder was having all sorts of problems defending the perimeter in the first quarter. Although Toronto did make some tough shots, the Thunder was allowing way too many guys to be open. The Raptors shot over 60% in the quarter, for 15-21 from the floor and 4-7 from deep. As for Oklahoma City’s offense, Russell Westbrook was the only one doing anything at all. He had 9 points in the quarter with his team trailing 39-31 after twelve minutes.

The poor shooting for the Thunder continued in the second quarter, and the worst was from the free throw line. Toronto had taken 10 three pointers, and made 7 at one point. While the Thunder had taken 11 free throws and made only 3. OKC was already struggling on defense, but they had to rest Paul George who was in foul trouble. The already struggling defense got worse without George on the court. The Raptors were able to hold a 63-55 lead at halftime.

If you are like me you felt good about the Thunder’s chances heading into the second half. However, the third quarter was by far the worst of the night for the Thunder. Whatever was going on with OKC earlier in the season, was just missing from this team in the third. It’s been going on for awhile now, but was most noticeable in this one. The team simply didn’t look like they were having fun out there, like they were in a complete funk. The team trailed by as many as 22, but thanks to Russell Westbrook they rallied back to have a shot in the final quarter for a comeback. Toronto led 92-78 heading into the final twelve minutes.

The Thunder had a lot of work to do in the fourth, but they were certainly in it. The focus had to be on defense, and the Thunder did just that. It’s crazy that at one point on the fourth the team had missed 12 free throws, and trailed by 13 points. After buckling down on defense, the shots started to fall for the Thunder. Russell Westbrook remained solid, and Paul George finally hit a big time shot. He didn’t make many in this one, but he made a few when they counted. After securing a stop on defense in the final seconds, Westbrook took the ball coast to coast to tie it up at 110-110 for over time.

In a game that simply “wasn’t the Thunder’s night”, it was most evident in overtime. In five minutes of play, the team had only 4 points. It certainly didn’t help not having Paul George in overtime due to fouling out. That being said, only 4 points in 5 minutes isn’t acceptable. Toronto pulled away in this one and earned a 123-114 win.

THUNDER PLAYER OF THE GAME

We’ve been seeing this name more and more for the player of the game recently, but Russell Westbrook had another great game. Russ was the only consistent scorer for OKC in this one, and at times he was the only scorer. Westbrook went for 42 points on 16-29 (5-10 from deep), 11 rebounds, and 6 assists.

The past few years all we’ve wanted is some help for Westbrook, and it looks as if he had it. However, lately it seems as if Russ is doing it all on his own once again.

LET’S RUN IT BACK

The Thunder will get another shot at the Raptors on Friday night. They’ll travel to Toronto for a 6:30 PM CST tip-off. The game will be televised on FSOK and broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

This is without a doubt a must win game, as is every one from here on out. The Thunder is fighting for a top four seed in the playoffs. However, this one will be even tougher because Kyle Lowry will be available to play for Toronto.

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3 Comments

  1. This is officially the worst case scenario. If things don’t change OKC is looking at a first round match-up against Golden State, which most likely means another early exit.

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